Festival to promote one of Malaga's oldest musical traditions

Festival to promote one of Malaga's oldest musical traditions

The verdiales festival in Cártama on Sunday 7 May will bring together 12 groups of the three main musical styles

Tony Bryant


Friday, 5 May 2023, 11:53


The Festival de Verdiales de la Ermita de las Tres Cruces returns to Cártama for its thirtieth year on Sunday 7 May, a day in which a dozen pandas (groups) of the three main styles will participate. The gathering will take place at the Three Crosses hermitage, a sanctuary of sun worship that was built in 1722 to celebrate the arrival of the solstices. The Hermitage is located in the mountains of Álora, but on the border of the municipalities of Almogía and Cártama.

This event, declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest in Andalucía, is organised to promote the teaching and dissemination of verdiales, a cultural and musical tradition that originated in Los Verdiales, an olive-farming region in the mountains that surround Malaga. This style of music and dance is exclusive to certain geographical points in the province of Malaga, namely the Axarquiá, Valle del Guadalhorce and Montes de Malaga.

Participating groups include El Sexmo, Montes de Guadalmedina, Raíces de Málaga, Los Moras, Santo Pítar, El Borge, Raíces de Almogía, Raíces de los Moras, among others.

The festivities will begin at 10am, when the opening ceremony will take place with the raising of flags at the entrance to the hermitage, followed by the traditional greeting by all participating groups.

At around 2pm, the institutional act of the changing of the command rod will be held, during which, the Mayor of Pizarra, Félix Lozano, will cede the rod to the Mayor of Almogía, Cristóbal Torreblanca.

Although they are not strictly flamenco, the verdiales are the prototype of the fandango, a style of music that has been incorporated into the flamenco repertoire. They can be danced by couples, groups, or solo. The solo dancer will often use a national flag, known as the Bailar la Bandera, while the dance consisting of three people, normally two women and one man, is called the Bailar de Tresillo.

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